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Admission of a housing crisis: “too little too late”, say the oppositions

The CAQ government admits the housing crisis too late and did nothing during its mandate to alleviate the situation, argue the opposition.

• Read also: Yes, there is a housing crisis, Quebec finally admits

“Minister Laforest lands on earth three years late. There is a housing crisis and all the regions of Quebec are affected,” said Andrés Fontecilla, the solidarity manager for housing.

Tuesday morning, our Parliamentary Office published an interview with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in which she admitted for the first time the existence of a housing crisis in Quebec.

For some cities in Quebec, “we can say that it’s a housing crisis,” said Andrée Laforest.

The latter reacted to the publication of new catastrophic data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) which confirms the emergency in several regions and cities of Quebec.

“Whether we are talking about Estrie, Montreal or Abitibi-Témiscamingue, prices are exploding, there is a housing shortage and tenants are facing more renovations. Now that the government has timidly pulled its head out of the sand, we are expecting structuring measures”, railed the elected representative of Québec solidaire, Andréa Fontecilla, an activist for control of rent increases, the protection of tenants against abuses and the construction of social housing.

Liberals fight back

During the interview, the Minister strongly criticized the Liberal record on housing, arguing that the 15,000 units that had been announced by the previous government had not been built, which would have amplified the crisis.

“I am really surprised that she managed to pronounce the famous “C” word, crisis. We’ve been trying to get him to see that there’s this housing crisis there for two years (…) Yet we brought him all the elements to the National Assembly to show him that there is indeed indeed a crisis”, first affirmed the liberal Marie-Claude Nichols.

Admission of a housing crisis: “too little too late”, say the oppositions

Archival photo

Liberal Marie-Claude Nichols

The elected official defended the results of her training, believing that the minister inflates the figures when she points out that there was a backlog of work when she arrived in office. “Even if there was a ‘backlog’ of 10,000 housing units, the Liberal Party still built 1,800 a year,” she pleaded.

Existing programs

According to her, the new $300 million program for affordable housing will not make it possible in the medium term to resolve the housing shortage. The money should have been distributed in the existing programs of the Société d’habitation du Québec or AccèsLogis. “It’s not a good way to react to the crisis (…) There are projects that are just waiting to get off the ground.”

Parti Québécois Meganne Perry Mélançon also believes that it is “too little too late” to admit “lip service” that there is a housing crisis.

Admission of a housing crisis: “too little too late”, say the oppositions

Archival photo

PQ MNA for Gaspé, Méganne Perry Mélançon

“In all regions of Quebec, the housing crisis is jeopardizing the most vulnerable, young families, and seniors who have to move. The economic development of several regions is suffering from this, and the inaction of the CAQ has pushed the problem onto the backs of the municipalities!”, she mentioned.

Now that the minister has admitted the crisis, the Regroupement de Lutte pour le droit au logement (FRAPRU) wants Quebec to adopt structural measures to deal with it. “And unlike the minister, we do not think that the new Quebec Affordable Housing Program is adequate or sufficient,” said the Twitter group.

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